SEAFDEC convened the 38th Meeting of the Program Committee of SEAFDEC on 23-25 November 2015 to assess the progress and achievement of implementation of SEAFDEC programs in 2015 and the programs of activity for 2016. The Committee reviewed the projects that were categorized under SEAFDEC Program Thrusts including one special project, as well as the two new projects proposed for 2016, Departmental Programs, and Other Programs, and provided suggestions on how to improve such programs. Moreover, issues on the High-level Consultation on Regional Cooperation in Sustainable Fisheries Development Towards the ASEAN Economic Community: Combating IUU Fishing and Enhancing the Competitiveness of ASEAN Fish and Fishery Products, which would be organized on 3 August 2016 in Bangkok, Thailand, were also discussed. The Committee considered that the 47th Meeting of the SEAFDEC Council had supported the High-level Consultation and agreed that SOM level officials from agencies responsible for fisheries of the ASEAN-SEAFDEC Member Countries should participate in the Consultation. In discussing the issues on FAO Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradiation, the Committee agreed that the draft Regional Guidelines should be developed taking into consideration the priorities and specificities of fisheries in the ASEAN Member States.
Conducted back-to-back with the 38th Meeting of the SEAFDEC Program Committee, was the 18th Meeting of the Fisheries Consultative Group of the ASEAN-SEAFDEC Strategic Partnership (FCG/ASSP) on 26-27 November 2015. The 18th Meeting of the FCG/ASSP focused on the follow-up actions to the directives given at the 47th Meeting of the SEAFDEC Council and other meetings of SEAFDEC as well as those of ASEAN bodies related to fisheries. The Meeting also highlighted on the need for collective regional effort in addressing issues at international scene, especially CITES-related issues including the latest information on the proposal for listing of commercially-exploited aquatic species in the CITES Appendices at the 17th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties of CITES (CITES COP-17). The results and recommendations of the 18th Meeting of the FCG/ASSP would be submitted to the ASEAN Sectoral Working Group on Fisheries (ASWGFi) for endorsement to the subsequent meetings of the ASEAN on fisheries.